The US is cutting the number of refugees it will allow into the country next year to 30,000 – some 15,000 fewer than the previous 12 months.
The announcement comes despite calls from global humanitarian groups that this year’s cap of 45,000 was too low.
The US welcomed nearly 85,000 refugees in the final year of Barack Obama’s presidency. The lower numbers reflect the Trump administration’s opposition to accepting refugees and other immigrants into the US.
It has already driven down refugee admissions to America’s lowest level in a decade.
Fewer than 22,000 refugees are estimated to have resettled in the US in the past year – about half the maximum allowed.
The refugee cap of 45,000 set last year was the lowest since 1980, when the modern refugee programme was established.
US secretary of state Mike Pompeo said: “The improved refugee policy of this administration serves the national interest of the United States, and expands our ability to help those in need all around the world.
“We are and continue to be the most generous nation in the world.”
David Miliband, president of the International Rescue Committee (IRC), criticised the US decision to further cut its refugee admissions cap.
He said: “The US is not only abdicating humanitarian leadership and responsibility-sharing in response to the worst global displacement and refugee crisis since the Second World War, but compromising critical strategic interests and reneging on commitments to allies and vulnerable populations.”
US President Donald Trump campaigned in 2016 promising tight restrictions on immigration and his administration has sharply reduced refugee admissions.
In June, Mr Trump defended the policy of separating migrant children from their parents on the southern US border, saying “the US will “not be a migrant camp”.
He later signed an executive order to keep families together following pressure from both Democrats and Republicans.